The CRU is responsible for the safety regulation of natural gas and LPG undertakings, under the Electricity Regulation Act 1999, as amended.

About the Gas Safety Framework

The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) has a legal function to:

  • regulate the safety of the activities of gas undertakings and gas installers
  • promote gas safety for gas customers and the general public

We do this to ensure that the general public and gas customers are protected from the safety risks associated with natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). We fulfil these functions through the Gas Safety Framework (GSF).


The CRU is responsible for the safety regulation of natural gas and LPG undertakings, under the Electricity Regulation Act 1999, as amended.

In order to carry out this regulation, the CRU established a Gas Safety Regulatory Framework (GSF) in 2007 and published an updated version in 2014.

Natural gas safety case regime

As set out in Section 16 of the Gas (Interim) Regulation Act 2022, as amended, the following natural gas undertakings are required to have a licence issued by the CRU.

  • Transmission system operators
  • Distribution system operators
  • Shippers
  • Suppliers (including compressed natural gas)
  • Liquefied natural gas facility operators
  • Gas storage operators

As part of their licence application, these undertakings must submit a safety case to the CRU. It must be in accordance with the Gas Safety Case Guidelines. The guidelines help gas undertakings to develop their safety cases or material changes for submission to the CRU.

The safety case must demonstrate that the undertaking is managing risk associated with their business to a level that is As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP).

The safety case regime includes the natural gas transmission and distribution networks which Gas Networks Ireland own and operate. The natural gas network has 14,520km onshore pipeline around Ireland. It transports gas to over 650,000 customers daily.

LPG licensing

It is important that all operators of piped LPG distribution networks are regulated with respect to safety.

The CRU is currently awaiting changes to legislation to enable us to licence all LPG operators that supply two or more domestic customers.

A Class 1 LPG safety licence and safety case is required where a person:

  • imports LPG or purchases LPG directly from a refinery within the State
  • is operating more than 10 piped LPG distribution networks

View Class 1 LPG Licences

A Class 2 LPG safety licence is required where a person operates 10 or less piped LPG distribution networks.

Audits and inspection regime

The CRU monitors compliance with an undertaking’s safety case through audits and inspections. The CRU agrees an annual audit and inspection programme for natural gas and LPG undertakings.

The review topics are decided by considering:

  • previous audit and inspection findings
  • performance reports
  • key performance indicator trends
  • incident reports
  • accepted safety cases


The CRU has enforcement powers where undertakings are found to be non-compliant with their safety cases. This includes the power to make an undertaking submit an improvement plan and to serve improvement and prohibition notices.

These powers are set out in the Energy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2012 which amended the Electricity Regulation Act 1999.

Incident investigation and reporting regime

The CRU monitors all licensed undertakings’ safety performance and investigates incidents. We review all reported incidents for learnings to help prevent it from repeating and to take swift action where required.

Both licensed and unlicensed Gas Networks Ireland and LPG undertakings are legally obligated to report natural gas and LPG incidents to the CRU.

Licensed natural gas and LPG undertakings are required to submit quarterly safety performance reports. Trends identified by the safety performance reporting regime are used to inform the audit and inspection programme for each year.

The CRU is obligated to report to the relevant Minister on the functioning of the Gas Safety Framework. We do this by publishing an annual energy safety report. This includes:

  • information on the number of audits completed
  • the number of new safety cases accepted and the number of gas related incidents